Tuesday, April 22, 2008
Oh, mother earth,
With your fields of green
Once more laid down by the hungry hand
How long can you give and not receive
And feed this world ruled by greed
Oh, ball of fire
In the summer sky
Your healing light, your parade of days
Are they betrayed by the men of power
Who hold this world in their changing hands
Oh, freedom land
Can you let this go
Down to the streets where the numbers grow
Respect mother earth and her giving ways
Or trade away our children’s days
- Mother Earth (Natural Anthem), copyright Neil Young, 1990
- Image courtesy of NASA.
Monday, April 14, 2008
I’ve been trying not to blog about politics but every now and then I succumb to the odd irresistible headline. Today’s NYT science blog, Dot Earth, headlines with this jewel that nearly made me choke on my tea: “President Appears to Seek a Warming Legacy.” (registration might be required for the NYT.)
Wait, wait….as in GLOBAL warming? Doesn’t he already have a global warming legacy? As the president who approached global warming discussions with hostility and distrust, as the world leader who backed out of the Kyoto Protocol, as the president who forced his government agencies to suppress science supporting climate change, as the president who said in a 2002 speech in Trenton, New Jersey: “We need an energy bill that encourages consumption” ?
THAT global warming legacy? Har har har HAR!!! I guess he’s gotten worried that his “Iraq legacy” isn’t looking so good so he’s going to try to be remembered for a positive “global warming legacy,” if that’s possible with less than a year left in his tenure. God help us all!!
Tuesday, December 11, 2007
Wow. Here’s Al Gore’s Nobel Lecture from yesterday. I can’t paste it in, it seems, without incurring the wrath of the Nobel Committee. Still, click through and read it in its entirety. It’s worth it.
Photo courtesy of the Associated Press.
Friday, December 7, 2007
Finally!! A group has come together to “standardize” the definition of a sustainable landscape. The American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the United States Botanic Garden and other organizations have created a partnership called the Sustainable Sites Initiative to develop guidelines and standards for landscape sustainability.
Currently, “sustainable landscape” is a nebulous, mushy concept. What does it mean with regards to water conservation, for example? Or use of native plants? Since it’s never been defined before, “sustainable landscape” is in the eye of the beholder.
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Saturday, December 1, 2007
In case of a global catastrophe, what happens to our plants? What would happen if a plant species was wiped out due to global warming, epidemics, species extinction, or a weather disaster? What if genetically modified seeds contaminate the last strain of an important heirloom crop? Some smart scientists figured out a long time ago that seed banks might save us
from ourselves. Like fallout shelters for plant DNA, seed banks are doomsday vaults that protect seeds against natural and human-caused disasters.
Photo courtesy of the University of Illinois Extension Urban Programs Resource Center.
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Tuesday, November 13, 2007
This past weekend I participated in a seminar called 21st Century Landscape Literacy at Apeiron Institute for Environmental Living in Coventry, RI. Apeiron’s mission is to promote sustainable living practices and ecologically healthy communities in southeastern New England. On their property, they’ve built an eco-house using green building practices. (You can take a virtual tour here, it’s really cool.) Apeiron held this seminar to teach people how “to read our lands remembering the ‘old ways’ and with new technologies toward sustainable relations.”
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